There is no singular word to describe last night’s show. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed it so much. With three bands on the bill, each band was drastically different than the other but they all shared one thing- a clear love and passion for live music. I’ve walked into some very strange shows and even some where I absolutely hated everything about the music but, as long as there is a sense of passion and energy, I will eat up every single moment of said show. Now, I’m not saying that I didn’t like the music from last night because I definitely did but it was also completely different than what I listen to on a normal basis and honestly, had that love and passion not been there, I’m not sure I would have lasted.
Getting the night start in the perfect, most dramatic way possible was Belgium based Amenra. Their intro left me in absolute shock to say the least. As the lights went down, so did the chatter around me. With just a metallic clink coming from drummer Bjorn Lebon, there was something just downright creepy about the moment. You could hear a pin drop in the audience and there was just the right amount of smoke in the air to give it a very haunting vibe. Then, just like that, the bass drum kicked in and any sense of creepiness was instantly replaced by a feeling of aggression and energy. I was captivated by vocalist Colin van Eeckhout. He may have only faced the audience for a total of about three minutes throughout their nearly forty minute set but that didn’t stop my eyes from being glued on him the entire time. There was something so passionate in his voice and movements. It was aggressive but don’t mistake that for a lack of emotion. I felt more from his performance than I have felt at the past couple of heavier shows I’ve been to combined. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the rest of this band. All of them brought something to the table that, without it, would have made for a completely different band. From the calmest of quiets to the loudest of explosions, the constraint and musicality that each of these band members showed had me stunned. Okay, yeah, you caught me, clearly Amenra stole the show for me and honestly there was no way Voivod or YOB would be able to top the performance. That being said, I was still excited for what else the night would hold.
It had been years since the last time I saw the next band, Voivod, live but for some reason their set always stuck in my head so I was excited as the lights dimmed and I saw the four band members take the stage. Although they’ve gone through plenty of line-up changes (the drummer and vocalist are the only original members) throughout the years, this band has always stayed the same as far as their sound goes. Sure, you can just generalize their sound and call it metal but, if you cut it all down, it’s so much more than that. From complicated rhythms to songs that have tempos that jump all over the place, the creativity of this band keeps them feeling young and not like the seasoned veterans that they are. With fourteen albums out there, these guys could have easily played for a couple of days without repeating a song. That being said, they clearly nailed their song choice as the entire audience seemed to be zoned in on this band. By the end of their lengthy set, the crowd seemed to have warmed up enough to start pushing and shoving around their neighbors a little bit. Even with the small push pit that had opened, it was obvious that majority of the audience was just stuck with their eyes glues to the stage watching these legends power through their set.
I may have walked into Tuesday night’s show not knowing much about anything other than the fact that Voivod had a live show that stuck with me but, by the time YOB was taking the stage, that whole attitude had changed. I didn’t care what was next because, judging by the rest of the show, it was clearly going to blow my mind. I wasn’t wrong. I was instantly struck by the realization that this was solely a trio. Within the first couple of measures of their first song, I found myself trying to get a better view as to try and find the hidden members that were helping this trio create the giant wall of sound coming from the stage. Those hidden members didn’t exist. Much like for the two previous bands, I was floored and completely captivated by both the music and the energy in the venue.
Much like Voivod, YOB is a band that refuses to be put in the box. Again, generalize if you need and call them metal but the influences that come into play for this band range from everything from Led Zeppelin to Sound Garden with a little Black Sabbath thrown in there. It was Mike Scheidt’s vocals that really had me sold on this band. The range of his voice was just about as large as the range of influences in this band. Clear and concise when it needed to be and aggressive and harsh when that was called for, I loved the way that, although clearly a band with a sound all their own, each song sounded completely different than the last. I may have not known much about YOB when I walked into The Fine Line on Tuesday night but after just a couple of songs, I felt like I knew enough to be able to say that I was truly watching a legendary group on stage. There’s a feeling that only comes from watching legendary bands and, although I can’t quite put that feeling into words, I had it last night.
Going to shows where I know nothing to very little about the bands performing will never get old and will remain a constant when it comes to my concert going. Sure, you never know what you’re going to get when you play a game like that but sometimes, like last night, you end up with a gem of a show that leaves you speechless.
Venue: Fine Line
Sausage Fest Meter- 11 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 36
Crowd Surfers- None spotted but I was all the way in the back by the time YOB played
Mosh-Ability- 6.9 out of 10
Stage Divers- None
Broken Bones- 0
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- 0
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 7.9 out of 10
Show on Deck- Thou/ Emma Ruth Rundle/ False/ Grogus/ Without
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